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Marlin 1895 SBL vs. Benelli M4 H2O

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 16n69, Mar 4, 2012.

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  1. 16n69

    16n69 member

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    What would be a better primary defense weapon while in large bear country (as I will find myself often in while in MT & AK...moving near Glacier and going often to AK.)...
    ...Marlin 1895 SBL in 45-70 w/ Garrett 540-gr SuperHardCast Hammerhead
    vs. Benelli M4 H2O w/ Brenneke Black Magic 3" slugs.

    What would be a better secondary backup to either above...
    the Glock 10mm w/ Heavy 10mm Ammo - 220 gr. Hard Cast - FN (1200 fps/ME 703 ft. lbs.)...or the 4" S&W .500 w/ Buffalo Bore .500 Smith & Wesson Ammo - 440 gr. L.F.N.-G.C.(1,625fps/M.E.2579ft.lbs.) ?
     
  2. headoftheholler

    headoftheholler Member

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    I've seen first hand how devestating the Garretts are in 45-70 on Whitetail and hogs. These things just dont stop going, penetration is superb. A few years ago I shot a 200 lbs buck quartering towards me with the 540g and it broke the nearside shoulder , through the gut, shattered the pelvic bone, exited and went through a small poplar tree. Not discounting a huge 12 ga. slug, but I doubt the slug will penetrate half as much.
     
  3. Dane17

    Dane17 Member

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    45-70 for sure.

    Exit wound on a hog with just a 325gr hornady LE.
    c77cd106.jpg
     
  4. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I vote vote the shotgun. When I lived in Alaska we would carry alternating buckshot and slug, starting with buckshot in the chamber. Some buckshot to the face would be a serious deterrant. I also would not stake my life on an auto. Give me a good 18" 870.

    An added plus is that you can keep some bird shot on hand to pot the occasional grouse or ptarmigan!
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Slugs have proven to be poor performers. If all you have is a shotgun then load it up with the best slugs you can find.

    Of those 2 the 45-70 is the better choice, but I'm not a fan of it or the Marlin lever guns. For a lot less trouble, expense, and recoil, a short barreled bolt rifle in 30-06, 35 Whelen, 338 Mag or larger loaded with proper ammo would serve you better.
     
  6. 16n69

    16n69 member

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    OK guys...not just any "slugs"...not your typical foster soft lead, Brennekes are WAY different...massive damage & penetration.
    and the Benelli M4 is not your typical "semi-auto"...as reliable,if not MORE than any pump gun with their short stroke issues, among others, especially under duress.
    The M4, especially the new H2O, will fire if submerged in H2O:cool:...and from any position, with any loads, EXTREMELY reliable & very fast and is what the U.S. Marines have chosen, among others to bet their lives on!

    Also, always heard that a bolt action is too slow, too long, too heavy for defense in the brush? ( big difference between hunting/long range shots and being "hunted" / defense )

    Just wondering if anybody here has used both rounds/guns (any M4 or similar)
    to waste or at least stop a charging Brownie?:eek:
    My odds of having to do this is about to drastically rise, although, even exposed to areas with high pop., I hear it is still low odds of encounters w/ a "charge":uhoh:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  7. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    It sounds as if you are set in the Benelli, which is a good choice. As for short stroking pump actions, that is a training issue rather than a design flaw. I would definitely say "no" on a bolt, unless you are 100 percent sure you can work it flawlessly under stress.I'd take a look at African Professional Hunters and see what they use. A adult male grizzly or brownie can be scary as hell. I'd rather not have to shoot one at short range and the chances are you may have to fire a warning shot.

    I've fortunate and did not have a violent encounter with one. It sounds strange, but here in NW Fl I've been just as concerned about black bears. I've seen a few at 400 plus.
     
  8. Jalexander

    Jalexander Member

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    I'd take the 1895 because A) I already have one and know how to shoot it and B) that Benelli is as ugly as a mud fence. On the other hand, current (Remington) production Marlin firearms have an inordinate number of problems, so get an older short barrel .45-70 and swap out the stocks for the plywood stocks.

    And regarding the supposed slowness of a bolt gun, I know for an absolute fact that someone who has a gun with a good, slick bolt and is very accustomed to it can work the bolt very, very fast. I've done it and hit what I was aiming at, but I mostly shoot lever guns these days.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute

    James
     
  9. tundraotto

    tundraotto Member

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    1895gbl or similar in 45-70 is pretty hard to beat...lots more firepower in a much smaller package.
     
  10. 16n69

    16n69 member

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    Thanks to you a nd ALL for your input...as to "ugly" on the Benelli H2O M4...I think it is sexy in gun term "sexy", as guns go, especially SG's...Benelli is known for making some of the BEST SG's on the planet while designed with good looks compared to the other SG brands...and "looks" are subjective and WHO CARES anyway, function is all that matters.

    I may just go ahead and get both (Marlin 1895SBL 45-70 & Benelli M4 H2O)...two very different guns that could serve the same purpose on any given day...and being weather proofed (extremely so in the M2 H2O's case...)...will hold up good in MT. & AK. , I would think.
    In the end, I think(others seem to agree) that the great "custom" hi-caliber (pun intended, lol) quality ammo/loads & bullet design offered by Garrett, Buffalo Bore, Grizzly & Double Tap, and for SG, Brenneke & Dixie Slugs.

    And...as to the BUG, I may just go with the S&W model 500 s&w .500 on my hip and the Glock 10mm in a cross-draw or shoulder rig...in case the bear is packing...I will have 20 rnds for the fire-fight...lol.
    Seriously, I'm told the 4" S&W shoots & handles better than the 8" and recoil is not as bad as some make it out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  11. Jalexander

    Jalexander Member

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    Glad we were able to help you decide. My remark about the Benelli was more or less tongue in cheek, because although *I* wouldn't have one, we all have different tastes.

    James
     
  12. 16n69

    16n69 member

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    I am getting both...M4 & 1895SBL 45-70...can never have too many guns...lol, huh?;)

    Guess I will have to make darn sure I have one or the other with me,cocked & locked and ready to ROCK...and never depend on ANY HG...but I sm ordering the S&W model 500 s&w.500 today, and will become as proficient for ONE good shot as possible for that last ditch wing-and-a-prayer effort. before the crunch:eek:
     
  13. 16n69

    16n69 member

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    BTW...do you have this rifle and have you used it against a Grizzly?
     
  14. tundraotto

    tundraotto Member

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    no I haven't,

    but I do have the 1895GBL
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  15. 16n69

    16n69 member

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    Has anyone used a Benelli semi-auto w/Brenneke or Dixie slugs or similar and on other occasions a Marlin 45-70 or similar...to good effect on large grizzly & Brownies?
     
  16. benderx4

    benderx4 Member

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    Make sure you get the tube extension for your M4. When it comes to bears, I'd want to have every round possible at my disposal. My M4 has been totally reliable with all kinds of high power loads.
    Having said that, I do own a 1895SBL as well, and it has been my go-to rifle for hunting hogs. (Using Hornady Leverevolution 325 grains) I doubt you'd to wrong with either weapon. Personally, I wouldn't trust myself with a bolt action for bear protection, but I have limited experience with one.

    As for your sidearm, I would think that some well-placed 44 magnums would be a great deterrent for bears as well, and would be much easier to carry. Too small? Did you consider the 5" Smith 460V? It's not very easy to find any more, but it can be done. The ballistics of the 460 stack up very nicely to that of the 500 without breaking the bank, or your hand. Good luck!

    6965771187_9db933abeb_z.jpg

    My Benelli with some friends.
     
  17. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I have had an 1895 or 2 or 3 since 1973 and here are my feelings: The 45-70 is a great round and gives you a 200 yard kill range, more than twice what a Brenneke 12 ga slug has on game hardier than deer, besides the accuracy issue.
    I don't have an M4 Benelli but I've had an M-1 Super 90 for almost 20 years and it has been stone reliable with even 3" monster slug diets.
    The 1895 sometimes can have feeding and extraction issues especially around snow and ice in my experience. Maybe that is why they sell the odd bits to help those issues! I sure wouldn't want to worry about smooth cycling the lever during a bear charge.
    In a bear attack remember the bear is coming at you so the SG has the advantage as you aren't drawing a bead as in hunting.
    Personally I would get a 12ga Super Nova for $1000 less than the M-4 as you can keep the Nova "cruiser ready" which is really a safe and ready carry mode the M-4 can't do as fast, the rare m-3 COULD of course. And with that $1000 I'd buy a 30-06 stainless bolt gun, like a Rem 700 or Savage with fixed iron sights and put a Leupold VX2 2-7 in Warne lever mounts. This combo could be done easily under $1000 and would give you everything you would ever need for any game in the States (or any where really) out to too far AND you have the $450 12ga Super Nova for all your shotgun uses and personall protection even against the biggest bears. BTW the bears around Glacier wake up really nasty and hungry IMHO from spring hunts around there. Even worse than the ones I've met in AK during hunting season. Still with either of what I suggested you would have adequate equipment with the right ammo. The 12ga better for defensive carry tho IMHO.
     
  18. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    I was in the position to make a similar choice this past August on a trip to the Brooks Range for a week-long rafting/fishing trip. I own both an 1895 .45-70 Guide Gun and a 18.5" Remington 870. After asking around, the Remington got picked for the trip loaded with none other than the 3" Brenneke Black Magics you ask about. I can't testify to its effectiveness as I never shot them at anything other than paper. We saw about 10 bears during the trip, including one coming in camp the first night out, and it was very reassuring to have along. If I went back, I think I'd take the same gun. The Brenneke has a much higher Taylor Knock-Out value if you believe in that kind of thing.

    Here is the poll I posted if you wish to read the responses:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=578437
     
  19. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I'll take the rifle any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    IMHO, this crap about slugs and bears is the biggest, goofiest myth that won't die, perpetuated by a lot of weird perception and little actual fact. Bottom line is that a 12ga pump with slugs is recommended because everybody has one and if not, they are cheap and plentiful. NOT because they are the best tool for the job. Slugs are terrible for penetration and most have a sectional density comparable to the lightest handgun bullets. None of which prevents well intending folk from perpetuating the myth that shotguns are best for bears. They are not. A big bore rifle, like the Marlin in question, loaded with heavy, toughly constructed bullets has vastly superior terminal ballistics and will always be the better choice. Wanna know how to stop big, angry and tough critters? Don't listen to a bunch of regurgitated nonsense on the internet, find out what's been used successfully in Africa for the last 150yrs. It ain't shotguns.
     
  20. conrad427

    conrad427 Member

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    i love these what if's! Man, a backup for a 45-70 using hot rod loads would have to be a 20MM cannon. If i was not sure if the 45-70 was going to hold up through one mag full of ammo i would carry another 45-70 as back up.
     
  21. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    I believe there is a bit if misinformation concerning slugs. If you attempt to use the old foster soft lead slugs, then yes, they aren't that great. Hornady has a 300 grain FTX bullet loaded in the 12 ga at 2000 fps. That's 45-70 territory.

    As for Africa, they definitely are not using 45-70 as the typical caliber of choice. What I can say is that I felt very confident with my shotgun when I lived in Alaska. I would also be happy with my Marlin 45-70.
     
  22. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    The best you can hope for in a 12ga slug is the Dixie Terminator. Still, its sectional density is equal to a .44cal 250gr Keith bullet. Stomping recoil, big hole, not much penetration compared to something like a 400gr .458.


    Great for deer, possibly elk, not much else. Certainly not for bear. :rolleyes:


    How many charging bears did you stop with your slugs?


    No, they're not but proper African cartridges are FAR more comparable to the .45-70, heavy .444Marlin and .405WCF than a shotgun slug.
     
  23. tundraotto

    tundraotto Member

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    lol - havent you made up your mind yet? Have you held either gun? I think the ballistics are pretty easy to look up.....what do you feel like carrying on you? AND what did you get!!!! :)
     
  24. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Craig I respect your experiece with bears but let me ask you...have you ever seen the penetration of a 3" Brenneke Black Magic??

    I heard it is extremely popular in Alaska and extremely effective on problem brownies....

    Foster slugs and Brenneke Black magic are two very different animals....
     
  25. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Dont forget to sign up for some classes to really learn how to shoot. Its probably more important than your weapon choice. A four or five day class would be optimal.
     
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